Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Jul 10, 2006.
From the Ukrainian protests:
Combover put it back up I would love to read it and I think anything that helps keep people interested then this is a good thing . Chin up love and put it back on .Elsie
That photo Von poop has put on is very realistic so come on combover get it back up there Elsie
Combover have been on your website and I think it's great, the photos are great, I think you guys are doing a great job . Live and let live that's what I say
Coming a bit late to this thread so hope I not going over points already covered .
This is not about WW11 but think it may be relevant
I first came across re-enactors coming off the Ginkle Hiede DZ after the jump commemorating the 25th anniversary.
They lined the side of the DZ.in their vehicles.
First impression,not impressed and talking to Arnhem Battle Veterans they were quite offended.
I think the sight of a lady in uniform with a skirt half way up her thighs wearing sunglasses draped over the bonnet a Jeep like a car Advert was the clincher.
But then 25 years was not that long after the event.
Now at risk of being thought a "Walt" (I must point out I am talking about post war service and have never been in action.)
It was brought to my attention that a British Army Unit of which I had been OC. was being re-enacted by an American Group.
This immediately got my back up but I visited their web page to see what it was all about.
Then having been given my name they contacted me with a few Questions ,I must admit at first I was against it.
Then it was pointed out to me by another member of the Regiment that they were going to carry on doing it regardless of what I thought,and would it not be better to help them show the unit in the best light.
So I got in contact with them,started answering the questions as best I could.( with the strict provision that my name was not to be used)
I spent many hours on the keyboard giving them the finer points of dress etc and unit history..and sent them many pictures showing how the kit should be worn,
I have only seen pictures on the PC but was quite impressed by the amount of money they spent on vastly overpriced Dennison Smocks and the like.
They also had the advantage of having an ex Sgt of the unit living close bye who would check the new recruits turnout .Although not a member of the group..
On joining the group each member had to have a complete uniform and weapon
(they had serviceable SLR's and Sterling's not replicas,don't think it could happen in UK)
They were based on the East coast and did shows all over so could be the ones mentioned in #39.
So I think if done properly it is not a bad thing ,but due sensitivities must be shown
Just thought I'd post my updated views.
Unfortunately there is an entire sub-sect of re-enactors who believe they own an impression. I've come across a handful of these guys and they are *almost* always Allied re-enactors. They tend to sneer on others and obsessively promote their own 'brand', but not that of the real unit - and frequently call themselves by the real Regiment's name. These guys are insular and often pretty toxic individuals to deal with, and even worse rarely know the history of what they portray other than some warped populised version.
Most know very little, which is rather troubling given the way that people listen to them so intently. In 2 years not one German re-enactor could show me how to fire an MG42 on fixed lines until a few weeks ago - its basic skills like that which are lacking.
Depressing given there are some absolute stellar chaps and lasses out there, unfortunately the humdrum are the order of the day.
Dressing up in uniforms from the past and re-enacting battles is a pastime in many parts of Europe and North America.
But, until now, there had never been a world championship for medieval knights.
Battle of The Nations and it's associated mentalists have been at it for years. Just that the meeja has noticed it, and an improved pr 'sport' presentation, so naturally it's now 'new'.
Life re enactment
Then they sell your bike
On Saturday mornings in Gibraltar a group of local re-enactors dress up and re-enact the 'Ceremony of the Keys'. The group dress up in uniform and march to Casemates Square to re-enact the handing over of the keys to lock up the gates to the old town and garrison.
It is of interest to locals and visitors and it also gives people a visual idea of what the ceremony was like when it was done for real (see attached photograph).
For what it is worth, l have no issues with it if they are trying to depict what went on, educate, give a bit of theatre.
In my area, we have too many guys who dress up as the American 101st Airborne (nothing else) standing by their Jeeps trying to look tough but failing, showing off their weapons and chatting up the girls, What is that all about? No re-enactment at all?
Oh, l get it, they are just re-enacting 1944 England?
But, please, no more pictures of you in your authentic WW2 long johns or l am going to start a thread of members going to the Rocky Horror Show, starting with Adam and Ron!!!!! Pictures available, price negotiable.
I watched a WW2 documentary on the North Africa campaign a week or so ago, and was extra attentive because I could not, for the life of me, tell what was real or what was re-enactment.
I was very impressed. Wish I knew what re-enactment group it was.
For me, it the very first time that re-enactors definitely added to the show. A turnaround moment for me.
In the future I will be watching for similar quality instead of turning shows off at the first moment it becomes apparent that they are using re-enactors.
I saw two groups (one American and one Canadian) of War of 1812 re-enactors a few years ago who put on a very lifelike mock battle. Very entertaining and a type of "living history" that those who are not very informed could appreciate. Obviously, it allows people of like interests to congregate and enjoy their pastime and share knowledge, hardware, etc. They were all quite authentic and clearly took pride in that historical accuracy. That entails research and a passion for the history of the people and events. I really can't find anything to criticise about their particular hobby. In fact, it seems like a very healthy pursuit relative to other things they could be engaged in.
Like any other "hobby", it can be disturbing if the interest is motivated by less innocent objectives or where it has turned obsessive or fanatical. At that point it becomes pathetic and potentially threatening. Tom, (Combover) is an example of the more healthy variety of re-enactors. I particularly like the fact that various nationalities and units are represented and honoured by the respect shown.
Mind you, it all becomes an aesthetic disaster when a balding, overweight, middle aged guy is stuffed into any period uniform.
Nothing wrong with re-enactment when it's done properly and in the right place at the right time and when the motives are appropriately historical rather than some sort of 'look at me ego trip'.
It becomes downright OFFENSIVE when it's done in the wrong place at the wrong time. An example from the last few days in Normandy was when a convoy of 'American' jeeps and trucks stopped near a ceremony in Creully and just didn't get the message that they were not welcome....one of them even sounded his Jeep Siren during the ceremony and another decided to mingle in with the crowd and complete with his rifle slung over his shoulder! He probably thought it was macho...or probably he was just incapable of sensible respective thought processes, in fact he just showed that he was a pig ignorant idiot.....and typical of his type.
Normandy in particular is becoming a Theme Park.......the French must do something.
I just saw a photograph of Combover at this years Normandy commemoration - bloody hell, he even looks like someone from the 1940's - and it's not just the haircut -I don't know why you haven't been in more films Combover? Then again, you may well be a film star for all I know, forgive me. . I think this is a fascinating subject and one I'd love to make a documentary on, but having come across those ignorant Americans who frightened some elderly Dutch people one year I was at Arnhem, it would have to include all sorts....
There seems to be no shortage of good discussion on this topic, just bringing myself up to speed on it. There are one or two Military style events over here every year at which re-enactors participate. In general they are friendly and willing to discuss aspects of their garb and equipment as well as more general historical subjects. My sons have eagerly pored over some of the weapons that the lads have. There are a fair number of US Paratroopers to be found at these events as well as Wehrmacht. One chap has dressed up as a Gestapo agent, which to be honest I would have found a little more disturbing, were it not for the fact that he looks a bit like "Herr Flick" from 'Allo Allo! I havent seen many SS over here to be honest, but that may be because the Irish contingent are quite small.
Last month in Barnsley
There was another one yesterday on Yorkshires Look North news but can't find it now. People were complaining to the organisers because the Germans has Swastikas on their uniforms.
Sensationalist media twaddle… the same newspaper slagged off the same group of individuals last year for being Nazis!
As stated earlier, I believe most of the issues surrounding 'reenactors' are to do with the individual or individuals doing the reenacting. Surely this can be said for most sectors of society? Are all teenagers 'insolent', all elderly people 'in the way' all women 'bad drivers', all historians 'boring f*rts'? No, of course not, but we like to sit back and generalise anyway.
However, why we constantly have to put up with the SS, Gestapo or fully kitted up 101st Airborne units standing around eating 99's at English railway stations is totally beyond me (the only time this ever really works is if the railway station in question has been turned into a French, Dutch or German railway station). People who take part in reenacting spend a lot of money and time (but sometimes neither) on putting their uniforms and kit together and they'll look for any opportunity to show it off, and who can blame them really?
Some of us in the living history world are able to conduct ourselves in a civil and grown up manner. We're invited to events by the units we depict or particular museums and our knowledge is (hopefully) appreciated by those we speak to. I have a personal ethos of 'honesty is the policy' i.e. if I don't know the answer to a question then I don't give an answer, I see plenty of so called 'war historians' in museums dishing out wildly inaccurate information to anyone who will listen and they're not always wearing ill fitting uniforms either, likewise they're more than happy to approach my display, point at a Lee Enfield turn to their kids and say "that's a Garand, used by the yanks on Omaha beach" then walk off looking for more beer. I also know of plenty of museums that have blatantly wrong displays or information boards.
My problem lies with the fact that 're-enacting' is a hobby and hobbies tend to attract all manner of types, and since there is no regulating body for hobbies (that I know of) then I'm afraid we're all stuck with it, my advice is that if you don't like it, turn around and walk away, switch it off or wrap your chips in it.
Maybe I'm a snob, but I like to think there is a difference between 'reenacting' and 'living history'?
Just my two'penneth worth.
Clearly is the LH and reenacting distinction. Unfortunately recent scenes in Normandy of re-enactors attempting to upstage commemorations and turning up uninvited/without clearance really irked me. The hordes of US Paratroops in Arromanches on 6 June, and a smattering at the Bayeux ceremony, really was obscene and frankly offensive. Also had some lovely threats of late from the lesser sorts who can't take constructive criticism.
Lesson learned leave morons in the company of morons.
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